Ethiopian military forces fired live ammunition into a crowd, injuring and killing civilians, on March 10, 2018 in Moyale, a town in Oromia region, Eastern Ethiopia. According to AHRE’s sources, at least 15 were killed and more than 12 injured.
The Command Post Secretariat, established to enforce the recently decreed state of emergency, confirmed that 9 were killed and 12 others wounded. Its statement claimed that 5 member of the army acted based on a ‘mistaken intelligence report’ while attempting to capture members of Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) who crossed the border from Kenya to the Ethiopian side.
There was no protest or irregular activity at the time of the killing, and eyewitnesses confirmed that most of the victims were shot while walking on the streets, at coffee shops or restaurants. They also reported that the shooting took place in different parts of the town. One of the victims, Temam Negeso, was a school principal in the city school. The head of the Oromia Regional government communication bureau, Mr Addisu Arega also confirmed the killings in Moyale in his Facebook post, and according to the Addis Standard, terrified residents of Moyale town fled into neighbouring Kenya.
AHRE recently reported that at least 12 civilians were shot and killed by military and security forces on 20 January 2018 in Weldia town, in Amhara Region, Northern Ethiopia.
“AHRE is extremely concerned by these repeated instances of killings and arbitrary attacks in the context of a renewed clampdown on fundamental rights and the declaration of a new state of emergency,” said Yared Hailemariam, Executive Director of AHRE. “Persistent lack of accountability is at the center of the crisis Ethiopia is going through and such attacks risk instigating and triggering more anti-government protests and civil unrest”.
AHRE once again reiterates that the government should refrain from arbitrarily shooting civilians or protestors and respect fundamental human rights. AHRE urges the government:
⁃ Explicitly respect, recognise, and promote constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly;
⁃ Lift the ban on basic freedoms and fundamental rights that are enforced by the authorities and Command Post following the declaration of the state of emergency.
⁃ Engage in a meaningful and inclusive national dialogue with civil society, regional governments, and local elders, to address grievances at the root of protest movements;